Deathstalker (1983) is a terrible film

“We shall committ many sex crimes together, brother”


Quite often the phrase “for its time” is used when trying to evaluate movies, but I’ve no idea as to when the use of rape as narrative punctuation was ever considered an acceptable thing. I also appreciate that saying such things is a strong opening for a review, but when it’s in the lynchpin of the first, second, and every subsequent scene in this sword-and-sexual-assault fantasy its discussion needs to be as prominent as writer Howard R. Cohen and director James Sbardellati made it.
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Final Exam (1981) is a bad film with some genuinly amazing ideas.

In context, this still makes no sense


This can easily be dismissed as yet another slasher that turned up on the coattails of Halloween and Friday The 13th, as part of The Golden Age Of Slashers. And it has all the hallmarks of such a film; it’s cheap, follows the tropes, and has a lot of so-so acting and directing. However, for all it’s many failings, writer and director Jimmy Huston needs to be applauded for making a film that really tried to do something different with the genre in several interesting ways.
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The Last Case Of August T. Harrison (2015)

Renowned curmudgeon and author HP Lovecraft is dead and, unlike many other popular franchise creators in a similar situation, his works are in the public domain. It’s a mythos that you can have great fun with so writer/director Ansel Faraj decided to make a genre-bending movie based that asks two important questions: “what if Lovecraft wrote about things that are real” and “what is a father was coming to terms with his son being…. an artist!”
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Merrick (2017)


Another day, another apocalypse; this time in the form of Merrick; a boxing champion who had his career curtailed by one of those annoying diseases that wipes everything out for plot purposes. It’s written, directed, and produced by newcomer Benjamin Diouris, and the trailer makes it look low-budget. well presented, and a bit of a downer. Just the thing for a quiet summer’s viewing.
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Cyberzone (1995)


Want a practical example of why bad films get released under multiple names? This bit of viewing was picked purely on the grounds of there being the word “cyber” in its title; so had it been seen under its “Phoenix 2” or “Droid Gunner” monikers then you wouldn’t be about to read this cautionary tale. Then again, had just that bit more effort been put in by director Fred Olen Ray then the following would probably have been far more positive. It’s funny how life works out like that.
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Spiderhead (2022), the dawn of cyberbeige


Of the big streaming services, mostly because it’s given up on having any kind of 80s and 90s back catalogue, Netflix is currently the best place for new cyberpunk things to watch. So, when this Chris Helmsworth fronted drama, written by the team who did Deadpool randomly appeared on Friday I was all kinds of pumped up about it. And now I can happily report that it was mostly okay if you have time to kill. Continue reading

Project Nightmare (1987) is bad and you should watch it


Currently, this bit of obscure techno-thriller is sitting at 4.4/10 on IMDB. This is quite fair, as it’s quite badly and very cheaply made. But, when I watched it as part of the Bela Lugosi’s Shed Poor Quality Film Club, I unironically enjoyed it. It’s possibly because I spent most of the time working out the film director and writer Donald M. Jones was trying to make, or I just have an unquenchable thirst for proto-cyberpunk concepts. Either way, I wanted to share news of its existence.
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The Green Sea (2021)


There were two ways you heard about this film, and for most it was because Randal Plunkett, 21st Baron of Dunsany, rewilding enthusiast, vegan advocate, and death metal fan, directed it at his family estates. The other is because Katharine Isabelle is in it, and you are willing to give it a go because Ginger Snaps is an amazing bit of werewolf and feminist horror cinema. Either way, you’ve heard the hype and you want to give it a go, so what can you expect from the 105 minutes of Irish psychological thriller?
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Space Truckers (1996)


When this was announced as the movie of the week, three people went “Oh, I think I’ve seen this” and none of them could remember anything about it. That is what’s known in the business as “foreshadowing”, and it give a decent sense of how this Stuart Gordon directed film ended up. This is impressive, given that the last film of his we watched was absolutely blinding From Beyond.
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Ink (2009)


Ink is a 2009 indie film; written, directed, executive produced, composed, and edited by Jamin Winans. It’s billed as “a Wonderful Life meets Sin City” and a “high-concept visual thriller”, and is a passion project that tells a story about a mysterious creature called Ink, two mysterious forces battling for the fate of a girl, and the redemption of an ill-fated father. This $250,000 budget film has managed to gain 86 ten-star reviews on IMDB.com since its release, and for the life of me I can’t work out why, because it’s pompous, dull, and irredeemable Trash. I appreciate that it’s harsh to cut straight to the final score, but given how bloated and overlong the film was, I felt I had to restore some kind of cosmic balance. Maybe if you value the ratings given out here then the time saved not reading the rest of the review could make up for the time wasted watching the film. If not, here’s some nice things before the meat of its problems.
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